The Top 10 Impact Startups in the Nordics

From solar cells to AI-driven education, these are the finalists of the Norrsken Award.

von Kristina Bohnerth, September 23, 2019
Norrsken House

Spotify, Klarna, H&M and IKEA - those are the kind of businesses that Sweden is best known for. But that’s all about to change. Because Stockholm is on its way to becoming Europe’s capital for impact business. A few years ago, Klarna co-founder Niklas Adalberth decided to invest 20 million EUR to start a fund and co-working space for impact startups - those that combine technology with a mission to make the world a better place. Since then he has invested even more and persuaded other “Unicorn” founders to invest some of their own money too. Their goal: to help create the first “Impact Unicorn”. A company that will make the lives of at least 1 billion people measurably better. One of their main ventures, alongside running what is now Europe’s largest coworking space for impact startups, is the Norrsken Award for the top impact businesses in the Nordics. We took a look to find out what is hot in Scandanavia right now.

1928 Diagnostics

1928 Diagnostics have taken on the challenge of combating antimicrobial resistance. They provide a digital solution that enables  a sample of raw data to be analysed in no time at all. This helps patients to get a more accurate set of antibiotics which in the long run means protecting the power of antibiotics and saving lives. 


By providing water saving products, such as a tap-adapter for commercial and private use Altered reduces water usage by 98 %.


Exeger has created a solar cell that can be integrated directly into personal electronic devices like laptops and wireless headphones . Using ambient light, users can charge their devices  on the go. 


Even when it is cloudy or dark, ICEYE provides global satellite monitoring for governmental and commercial use, helping to resolve challenges in disaster management, security, and insurance, amongst others.


This highly accurate weather forecast is sent by SMS to farmers based in tropical climates, such as West Africa, in order to help them make better informed decisions to improve their farming. That can amplify the yield income and maximize the profit. It will make farming more efficient and stable. 


With their app anyone can track mole changes  in a simple way, to detect early skin cancer or melanoma. Photographs are taken of the skin and the app helps you to track any developments or changes in shape of the skin and moles.


N2’s technology enables the livestock farmer to recycle nitrogen and produce his own fertilizer with lower greenhouse gas emissions, improved resource efficiency and reduced cost.


Northvolt’s mission is to implement the transition to renewable energy on a huge scale. Northvolt strives to create the greenest batteries in large volumes with minimal carbon footprint and as sustainably as possible.


re:newcell has figured out how to recycle clothes for real. Fashion can finally be made sustainable thanks to their process of turning cotton and viscose into biodegradable pulp, which can be fed back into the textile production cycle. 

Sana Labs

Sana Labs uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to personalise online education, making it adaptive and more effective for each individual student. 

Find out more about the Norrsken Foundation here

Photo: Norrsken Impact Awards Ceremony